What to expect when expecting someone at IG airport Delhi Terminal 3

This is essential reading for anyone planning to go the new terminal 3 in Delhi to receive someone. If you go without reading this, you do it at your own peril.

Last evening I played the good son-in-law and went to receive my wife’s mum at the spanking new Indira Gandhi airport terminal 3.  All the men reading this know the situation – such tasks are moments of truth with no room for error, this better go like Swiss clockwork with Six Sigma precision.

Now this is my first time there, I plan for more than enough time and get there at 1915 for a 1935 flight. And I take the brilliant ‘Kafka at the shore’ by murakami with me thinking I can devour some more pages of this quirky and tangential book. The moment I get to the arrival area, I know it’s going to be anything but smooth. Here’s why:

First of all it’s the sheer number of people standing their to receive others. This is Delhi, so the ratio is typically 3:1 (3 receivers, 1 passenger)


Using my Delhi traffic skills, I push, shove and reach the front of the crowd and soon am standing right in front of gate 3. I can’t miss her now, I say to myself. I am proved wrong immediately. From my position I only have a view to gate 3, what’s happening at the other gates is a complete mystery to me – thanks to the huge pillars blocking my view of the other gates which are miles away.

 
   

Trying to find a better vantage point I wriggle my way thru, reach gate 2 only to find the same situation repeated. View only to gate 2, absolutely no sight to gates 1 and 3.

The gravity of the situation dawns upon me, it will be disastrous if I manage to miss her. So I use all my grey cells and my brilliant skills in spatial geometry, and manage to find myself a vantage point from where, thanks to my height advantage compared to the average Indian male, I can more or less monitor gates 2 and 3, but gate 1 is still mystery thanks to the architectural skills of the designer of this airport.Getting to gate 1 doesn’t make it any better

This is turning out to be more difficult than cracking ‘the daVinci code’! I should remember to pack my X-ray glasses next time i come here, i make a mental note. Its 2015 already, I better find my mom-in-law fast! I can see my stock slipping in my lovely wife’s book, who (thanks to female telepathy) can surely sense all this confusion regarding her mom sitting thousands of kms away in Switzerland.

I am not alone though, many people around me are in similar dire straits. Practically everyone is barking into their phones trying to shout over the din,
“… Where are you, I am waiting at gate 1″
” I can’t see you, I am gate 3″
“… turn left and come to gate 1″
” .. Ok right, I coming there”
” …. No, not right – LEFT, LEFT … #*@+&! (choicest punjabi expletives)

I am convinced this receiving area was designed by the Indian consortium of telecom companies rather than an architect, for this must easily be the highest revenue grossing hot spot for them. I fall prey to their plot, try to call her, but mistakenly call my wife’s dad halfway across India, who is probably in bed by now (damn … further downgrade of my stock!).

So eventually after a few more phone calls, I catch her, a few pleasantries and profuse apologies later, we start to make our way to the parking lot. Reaching the elevator bay, both of us stand there perplexed – these must be the most advanced elevators in world – no buttons whatsoever to call them! Till we spot this small little sign next to them …

….. come on guys, give me a break!

Share this with anyone going to to the new terminal 3 at Delhi airport to receive someone, or better still if you know someone who has anything to do with the Delhi airport, pls show this to them … hopefully they might want to do something about it.

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11 comments on “What to expect when expecting someone at IG airport Delhi Terminal 3

  1. Shirish says:

    Brij… Now you have to do this all over again for your wife’s sister! All the best!!

  2. David Bohlen says:

    Thanks again for sharing this post on our site. My wife and I were laughing out loud while reading it!

    • You bet … I was standing there waiting, going thru this ‘experience’ and the irony of the whole situation was overwhelming. Looks like you are a travel firm, so warn all your clients about it :-)

  3. NT says:

    This is insane. Pat-down molestations or Xray porn on the outbound journey and confusion and chaos on arrival. I’m going to stop flying and use only the Silk Route or the Orient Express from now on….

    Thanx for the heads-up!

  4. Ursula says:

    So very Indian! :-)

  5. DP says:

    Good job – but this is incredible India for you. No one who designs these big projects thinks ahead. They only think about the present and how much money they can stash into their pockets. Who cares about the conveniences of the general traveling public. I have already gone through this airport 3 times and everytime the wifi never works inside where they have signs saying freewifi. Bringing this to the attention of the Information Desk, she just shrugs!!

  6. Anubha says:

    I was laughing my head off while reading this. I am to visit Delhi from US in a few days and it did seem to help me. However, I have a question – is the scenario pretty much the same for international arrivals as well? :P

    • BL says:

      Hi Anubha. Thanks for the note. Hardly get to my blog now-a-days, thus the late reply. I have not had the mis-fortune of having to receive someone at the International airport, but I would not expect otherwise!

      Happy landing …

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